During this homebound period, we have had Mums from everywhere begging us to share ways to keep their kids occupied while they have some well-deserved
wine quiet time. Since the Aarons family of kids are blissfully happy (read: bored as), we asked them to help us come up with this list. It’s a pearler.
Touch up Time
- If your cubby house building is looking a little tired (probably like someone you know!), hunt down your old cubby paint tins and get the kids involved to bring her back to life.
- Think about changing up the colour scheme on some of your trims or attachments – you’d be surprised at the difference it makes. Test a small section first to see how it looks before you go crazy – Fizzy Pink might SOUND great, but it might not be so awesome when you’re looking at it every minute of the day from your home office.
It’s what’s Inside that Counts
- It makes sense that most parents concentrate on the outside of the cubby house, but inside can be a world of magic and creativity (no, really). Make it a project for the kids to paint the interior weatherboards. Exterior paint is best as it is self-priming, but interior paint will do the job – just be sure to apply an undercoat so the paint grips to the weatherboards.
- Cover any paint spills with some cheap carpet tiles or vinyl flooring. Just like in your house, it really sets the tone for your kid’s space, so put some thought into it. Not too much thought, though; they’re likely to wreck it with glitter, glue and slime.
- If buying floor coverings is out of the budget, you can paint the floor too! Just remember that floors take a real battering (like us parents), so a protective top coat is important. A great colour option is Dulux Dune Colorbond (TM) – a light neutral that will help mask all crap brought in from the outside.
Make the most of your wall space.
- Your kids create loads of gorgeous artwork, so make a gallery wall. Also, they will be super proud of their projects, and you won’t have to look at 426 drawings stuck to your fridge! #ocdtherapy. Also, see point 4.
- Start a WISH WALL to keep their spirits up. Get them to think of all the things they want to do on the other side of travel restrictions and pin photos to remind them there is light at the end of the tunnel. Our kid’s first suggestion was to put up a pic of their Grandpa so they could visit him. (Reality check: the actual idea was going to Wet ‘n’ Wild. Pop happens to live near there. Wish Walls are a parental fantasy.)
- Now more than ever, your cubby house is multi-purpose, so install some shelves to give them extra storage space. Your mini-hoarders can take ownership of their excess possessions from a young age.
Warm and Fuzzy
- As we head into the cooler months, it’s the perfect time to turn their cubby houses into cosy caves they will want to hang out in. Which also means they aren’t in the house.
- Make some beautiful curtains to keep out the cold chills. Who are we kidding? We’ll pin some old fabric to the window frame and pretend they’re curtains. Make us jelly and send us your pics if you are Martha Stewart and can do that fancy sewing caper.
- Cushions and blankets really make a huge difference! There’s nothing better than muffling the kids out with as many noise-absorbing objects as humanly possible. It will keep them entertained for hours, and you’ll feel better about yourself that you’ve given the kids some basic creature comforts while earning some much-needed peace and quiet. Win, win.
- Throw down a rug to cosy up your new floor (if you followed our tip above)! There are some cheap and cheerful options available, or borrow one from the house and upgrade it instead. That’s a much better option – the kids are likely to trash the new one, so give them the old one (also, point 4). Give it some purpose.
- The Cubby Classroom is a great option on the days when you realise why you didn’t become a teacher. Paint a piece of chipboard with blackboard paint and screw it to one of the walls, or take the whiteboard and easel outside and let them teach themselves. You should fit a table and chairs in there also. It might not make them geniuses, but it will save your sanity for a day or two!
- Get Crafty. Your home is working hard to cope with all the people and their mess. Take one of those fun activities outside and get them ‘crafting’ to bring out their inner Pro Hart.
- Make them snap happy. Set them up with their phones or tablets (or yours if you’re game) and turn their cubby into a photo studio. You might actually be surprised at the results (or not – we had to delete all but one photo). Share yours please! Keep It Real
- Out of all this self-realisation, we might as well teach our kids about something we know about – LIFE.
- Get them to keep their domain clean and tidy with real cleaning equipment. We gave ours the stick vacuum, and it kept them entertained until the battery ran out. Then we gave them Windex. It’s the best.
- Set up a home business. Since you’re busy working from home, give them a chance to devise their own enterprise. You’ll be surprised at the results! Our guys came up with the idea of building cubby houses for kids. We thought it was brilliant….
- No gym? No problem. Keep them active by setting up a climbing/sliding circuit using all the cubby attachments. Set the timer for two hours and expect to see them in 10 minutes. But they will be slightly more worn out than before, and we’ll take it!
- Grow some herbs in the flowerboxes. It will teach them all about taste and smell and the responsibility of keeping things alive. Just make sure they grow mint – it goes beautifully with iced tea and vodka. Here’s a recipe if you don’t believe us….
PLEASE SHARE YOUR PICS AND EXPERIENCES – THEY WILL HELP ALL OF US SAVE OUR SANITY!